Nov. 10, 2006
TALLAHASSE, Fla. –
The Florida State men’s basketball team opens their 2006-07 season as they play host to the four-team Colonial Athletic Association Classic Nov. 12-14, 2006 at the Donald L. Tucker in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face McNeese State (Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m.), Illinois State (Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m.) and Southern Methodist (Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m.). All six games in the classic are pre-determined with each of the four teams playing once a day. The first game of the session begins at 5:00 on all three days with the second game of the session beginning 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The Seminoles will then travel to play at the University of Pittsburgh in the final game of the Colonial Classic on Nov. 24. The Panthers are hosting a similar four-team classic – the First Commonwealth Colonial Athletic Association Classic – with Northeastern, Massachusetts and Oakland (Mich.) from Nov. 17-19.
Sunday Nov. 12 Monday Nov. 13 Tuesday Nov. 14 Illinois St. vs. SMU McNeese State vs. SMU Illinois State vs. McNeese State McNeese St. vs. Florida St. Illinois State vs. Florida St. SMU vs. Florida St.
HAMILTON LOOKING TO STAY PERFECT IN SEASON OPENERS
Seminole Head Coach Leonard Hamilton enters Sunday’s game against McNeese State looking to improve his record in season openers as Florida State’s head coach to 5-0. He has led the Seminoles to season-opening victories over Savannah State (Nov. 24, 2002; 79-46), Maine (Nov. 21, 2003; 69-49), Texas Southern (Nov. 19, 2004; 71-62) and Jacksonville (Nov. 19, 2005; 78-48).
Seminole Head Coaches In Season Openers Coach Years Overall in Openers Record in First 5 Years Don Loucks 1947 1-0 1-0 J.K. "Bud" Kennedy 1948-66 9-9 3-2 Hugh Durham 1966-78 12-0 5-0 Joe Williams 1978-86 8-0 5-0 Pat Kennedy 1986-97 10-1 4-1 Steve Robinson 1997-02 2-3 2-3 Leonard Hamilton 2003-Pr. 4-0 Game 5 vs. McNeese State
FLORIDA STATE IN SEASON OPENERS
Florida State has won 13 of its last 16 season openers dating to the opening game of the 1990-91 season. Entering Sunday’s game against McNeese State, the Seminoles have won each of their last three season openers when they have been at home.
Florida State In The First Game of the Season Category Record Winning Percentage Home Openers 41-1 .976 Road Openers 4-11 .333 Neutral Site Openers 1-1 .500 Season Openers 46-13 .780
SEASON-OPENING SEMINOLE NOTES
…Florida State’s largest margin of victory in a season opener came in a 133-79 (+54) victory over UCF on Nov. 25, 1978. The 54-point victory stands as the seventh largest margin of victory in school history;
…The most points scored by a Seminoles’ opponent in a season opener is 97 by Georgia Southern in a 109-97 victory by Florida State to open the 1972-73 season on Dec. 1, 1973;
…The fewest number of points scored in a season opener was 39 against Spring Hill College in a 39-36 victory by Florida State to open the 1947-48 season on Dec. 10, 1947. That game was the first in the history of the Seminole men’s basketball program;
…Florida State has scored 100 points or more nine times in a season opener – most recently the Seminoles defeated Florida Atlantic, 110-59, to open the 1993-94 season on Dec. 1, 1993.
HAMILTON IN SEASON OPENERS
Fifth-year head coach Leonard Hamilton enters Sunday’s game against McNeese State looking to win his 12th consecutive season opener. He guided Florida State to a 78-48 victory over Jacksonville to begin the 2005-06 season. Hamilton has an 13-5 record (.722) during his collegiate career in season openers.
Hamilton Successful In Season Openers Season School Opponent Outcome 1986-87 Oklahoma State at Pepperdine L, 61-79 1987-88 Oklahoma State at BYU-Hawaii L, 59-62 1988-89 Oklahoma State at Pittsburgh L, 75-93 1989-90 Oklahoma State at North Texas W, 94-66 1990-91 Miami vs. George Mason L, 91-97 1991-92 Miami vs. Barry University W, 80-67 1992-93 Miami vs. Florida International L, 64-72 1993-94 Miami vs. Florida Atlantic W, 85-53 1994-95 Miami vs. NE Illinois W, 66-48 1995-96 Miami vs. NE Illinois W, 81-58 1996-97 Miami vs. Buffalo W, 78-61 1997-98 Miami at Southern Illinois W, 73-61 1998-99 Miami at Florida Atlantic W, 97-73 1999-00 Miami at Central Florida W, 81-54 2002-03 Florida State vs. Savannah State W, 79-46 2003-04 Florida State vs. Maine W, 69-49 2004-05 Florida State vs. Texas Southern W, 71-62 2005-06 Florida State vs. Jacksonville W, 78-46
SEMINOLES TOP SPRING HILL IN FIRST EXHIBITION
Junior guard Jason Rich scored 17 points and all five Florida State starters scored in doubles figures to lead the Seminoles to a 90-72 exhibition game victory over Spring Hill College at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles shot 58 percent and outscored the Badgers, 56-33, in the second half to gain the victory. Rich led the Seminoles’ starting five and was followed by All-America candidate Al Thornton’s 16 points, 12 from Isaiah Swann, 11 from Toney Douglas and 10 from Uche Echefu. Florida State roared back from a 39-34 halftime deficit and outscored the Badgers, 19-4, to open the second half. The Seminoles led by 10 at 53-43 after only 5:10 of the second half had been played. Spring Hill was led by guard Noah Woolridge who scored a game high 26 points on eight made 3-point field goals. The Seminoles played a solid second half in outscoring their opponents by 23 points. The Seminoles shot 57.9 percent (22 of 38) from the field, 36.4 percent (four of 11) from the 3-point line and 72.7 percent (eight of 11) from the free throw line. Florida State also cut down on their turnovers (12 in the first half and only eight in the second half), picked up on their defense (six second half steals) and limited Spring Hill to 30.6 percent (11 of 36) shooting from the field.
SEMINOLES OUTDISTANCE NOVA SOUTHEASTERN IN SECOND EXHIBITION
Florida State cruised to a 96-66 victory over Nova Southeastern Tuesday night in its final preseason exhibition at the Donald L. Tucker Center. All-America candidate Al Thornton scored 17 points to lead five Florida State players in double figure scoring as the Seminoles won both of their exhibition games. The Seminoles scored 39 points off 26 Nova Southeastern turnovers and led the entire game. Thornton had 17 points and 5 assists while Jason Rich scored 16 points for the Seminoles, who had five players score in double figures for the second of two exhibition games. Toney Douglas and Casaan Breeden added 13 points, and Isaiah Swann had 11. Donovan Redden led Nova Southeastern with 12 points and 5 assists. Florida State led 47-30 at halftime and outscored the Dolphins 49-36 after the break. The Seminoles shot 54.5 percent for the game and were credited with 21 assists on their 36 baskets. Florida State honored former player Aubrey Boyd at halftime. Boyd lettered at Florida State from 1988-1991, but in 1994 was paralyzed from the neck down after sustaining an injury while playing in a pickup football game. All proceeds from the game went to Boyd’s foundation.
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE F #12 Al Thornton (16.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg in 05-06; Earned All-ACC 2nd Team Honors as junior) F #41 Uche Echefu (2.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg; in 05-06; Played in 29 of 30 games as an FSU freshman) G #3 Isaiah Swann (8.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg in 05-06; Has played in 61 consec. Gms. entering 06-07) G #23 Toney Douglas (16.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg in 04-05; Transfer from Auburn and sat out 05-06) G #25 Jason Rich (10.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg in 05-06; Second leading returning scorer for FSU) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #10 Ralph Mims (3.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg in 05-06; Team leader in free throw pct. in last two seasons) G #11 Jerel Allen (3.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg in 05-06; Played in all 30 FSU games as a transfer in 06-07) F #15 Casaan Breeden (2.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg; Played in 22 of 30 games as an FSU freshman on 05-06) F #42 Ryan Reid (Will play his first career collegiate game against McNeese State)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR MCNEESE STATE F #24 John Pichon (0.3 ppg, 0.6 rpg in 05-06; Played in nine games as a freshman in 05-06) F #30 Aldryan Wardell (5.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg in 05-05; Played in 21 games and started seven in 05-06) C #3 Jarvis Bradley (5.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg in 05-06; Shot team-high .889 from FT line in 05-06) G #5 Troy Aaron (6.0 ppf, 2.9 rpg in 05-06; Shot .319 from 3PFG in 05-06) G #10 John Ford (9.1 ppg, 2.5 spg in 05-06; Shot .814 from FT line in 05-06)
FLORIDA STATE VS. MCNEESE STATE - A SERIES HISTORY The Series: First Meeting Last Game: First Meeting Last Florida State Win: First Meeting Last Jacksonville Win: First Meeting Last Florida State Win In Tallahaseee: First Meeting Last McNeese State Win In Tallahassee: First Meeting Leonard Hamilton vs. McNeese State: First Meeting
2005-06 FLORIDA STATE ROSTER No. Name Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Yr. Hometown 3 Isaiah Swann G 6-1 203 Jr. Germantown, Md. 5 Josue Soto G 6-0 165 Fr. Jacksonville, Fla. 10 Ralph Mims G 6-2 210 Jr. Pensacola, Fla. 11 Jerel Allen G 6-4 192 Sr. Detroit, Mich. 12 Al Thornton F 6-8 220 Sr. Perry, Ga. 15 Casaan Breeden F 6-8 200 So. Bennettsville, S.C. 20 Aaron Holmes G 6-5 180 Fr. St. Petersburg, Fla. 23 Toney Douglas G 6-4 196 So. Jonesboro, Ga. 25 Jason Rich G 6-3 200 Jr. Pensacola, Fla. 31 Brian Hoff G 6-6 192 So. Jacksonville, Fla. 33 Matt Zitani F 6-7 227 Jr. Pt. St. Lucie, Fla. 41 Uche Echefu F 6-9 220 So. Lagos, Nigeria 42 Ryan Reid F 6-8 232 Fr. Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
FLORIDA STATE TO SURPASS 20-WIN MILESTONE IN CONSECUTIVE YEARS
Florida State enters the 2006-07 season looking to win 20 games or more for the second consecutive season. The Seminoles won 20 games last season (20-10 overall record) and will play to win 20 or more games in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1991-92 (22-10/NCAA Sweet 16) and 1992-93 seasons (25-10/NCAA Elite 8). Florida State has won 20 or more games in consecutive seasons only twice in school history (1990-91 and 1991-92 / 1991-92 and 1992-93).
SEMINOLES PLAYING FOR CONSECUTIVE POST-SEASON APPEARANCES
Florida State enters the 2006-07 season looking to make consecutive postseason appearances for the first time since the 1996-97 (NIT Championship Game, 4-1 record) and 1997-98 seasons (NCAA Second Round). The Seminoles advanced to the championship game of the 1997 postseason NIT with victories over Syracuse, Michigan State, West Virginia and Connecticut before falling to Michigan in the championship game. A year later, the Seminoles defeated Texas Christian in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament before falling to Valparaiso in the second round. Florida State made a school record three consecutive postseason appearances 1990-91 through the 1992-93 seasons.
SEMINOLES CONTINUE TO PLAY WELL AT HOME UNDER HAMILTON
Florida State has won nearly 75 percent of its games played at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center during Head Coach Leonard Hamilton’s first four seasons at Florida State. The Seminoles were 14-3 at home (.824 winning percentage) during the 2005-06 season with one of its victories coming against No. 1 ranked Duke (79-74, March 1, 2006). The Seminoles have now defeated seven teams ranked in the nation’s top 25 at home under Hamilton. The Seminoles are 30-5 (.857 winning percentage) in non-conference games under Hamilton in the last four seasons.